Teach For America Interim Certification Program

The Teach For America Interim Certification Program is a state-approved alternate route to teacher certification and is open only to teachers accepted by Teach For America (TFA), placed in TFA’s Detroit region, and who pass the appropriate Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) tests.

Entry to this program begins with an application to Teach For America. During the application and interview process with TFA, applicants will be able to indicate their preference for working in the Detroit region. TFA is generally a two-year program; during their service, corps members who don't hold teacher certification are required to participate in a professional education program. Members of the TFA-Detroit corps who do not already hold State of Michigan teaching certification enroll in the Teach For America Interim Certification Program at the University of Michigan School of Education. In this program, corps members participate in content-methods seminars and are receive field-based supervision to prepare and support their development as novice teachers. To earn provisional certification in the State of Michigan, corps members must remain in the certification program for a third year while continuing to demonstrate successful teaching in their area(s) of certification.

Those who choose to pursue provisional certification in the State of Michigan, must:

1. Successfully complete the two-year Interim Certification Program.

2. Complete a third year of successful teaching in their placement.

3. Participate in field-instruction visits and receive satisfactory ratings.

4. Compile a portfolio of evidence of successful teaching, including an employment verification letter; satisfactory performance evaluations from supervisor, a letter of recommendation from a supervisor or mentor; and the Individualized Development Plan required of all new teachers in the State of Michigan.  

Over the course of the two-year program, corps members participate in practice-focused learning experiences arranged around curricular modules:

• Biweekly content methods seminars (approximately 15 class meetings per year)
• Field instruction visits (3-4 per year, depending on the cohort year) using the program rubric with written feedback provided to corps members, as well as face-to-face debriefings.

Throughout their experience, corps members work toward mastery of a pre-identified set of instructional skills aimed at their ability to demonstrate eight specific program outcomes that align with national and State of Michigan standards for the preparation of teachers, as well as to Teach For America’s Teaching As Leadership framework. These outcomes comprise a program rubric that clearly identifies the developmental expectations for alternate path novices in their first two to three years in the teaching profession.


Corps members’ successful demonstration of the program outcomes is evaluated through field instruction visits and through the construction of an electronic professional portfolio. Under the guidance of U-M instructors, corps members respond analytically and reflectively to prompts, then support their reflections with records of practice, as evidence of their instructional skills. The portfolio is designed to be readily transitioned to a professional portfolio that corps members can use for career development and advancement purposes.

Master's Program Option

The University of Michigan has developed a master’s degree program for TFA-Detroit corps members based on our  Master of Arts in Educational Studies: Teaching & Learning thread. Corps members electing this option matriculate in cohorted courses along the program’s Urban Pedagogy pathway, further enhancing their understanding and abilities as skillful teachers. Classes are cohorted and occur in the evenings or on Saturdays at the Ann Arbor campus or at the Dearborn campus to accommodate corps members’ regular work schedules in Detroit-area schools. They are also scheduled so as not to conflict with required certification program seminar sessions.

Corps members should apply to the master's program by September 30 of the first or second year in the corps. Admitted students begin classes in January.

Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD) Option

TFA-Detroit corps members enrolled in the certification program may also apply to the Rackham Graduate School as non-candidates for degree (NCFD) and earn credit for certification-program coursework. This application does not require candidates to take the GRE or submit letters of recommendation. Corps members elect two or three of the following courses for graduate credit, for a total of 5-8 credits:

EDUC 490 Content-Methods Seminar (3 credits) Receive credit for bi-weekly seminar
EDUC 638 Field Instruction (3 credits) Receive credit for field instruction and successful field ratings
EDUC 655 Professional Portfolio (2 credits) Receive credit for e-portfolio completion and participation in portfolio exhibition

Corps members complete the NCFD application by January 1 of the second year in the corps. They will then elect 5-8 credits and pay graduate-level tuition in spring term of the second year in the corps. Application details can found on the NCFD page of the program's website for current program participants: tfa.soe.umich.edu

Up to $5000 of the certification program fees are credited as a scholarship towards NCFD tuition.

Current Program Participants: Visit the Teach For America Certification Program website for requirements and forms.

Program Faculty

Program Support

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TFA Certification Program
University of Michigan
School of Education
610 E. University, Room 3112
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: 734.764.9712
Fax: 734.764.9711


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